Authors: Schils R.L.M.1, Newell Price J.P.2, Klaus V.H.3, Tonn B.4, Hejduk S.5, Stypinski P.6, Hiron M.7, Fernández P.8, Ravetto Enri S.9, Lellei-Kovacs E.10, Annett N.11, Markovic B.12, Lively F.13, Ten Berge H.1, Smith K.2, Forster-Brown C.2, Jones M.2, Buchmann N.3, Janicka M.6, Fernandez J.8, Rankin J.11, McConnell D.13, Aubry A.13 and Korevaar H.1
1Agrosystems Research, Wageningen Plant Research, Droevendaalsesteeg 1, 6708 PB Wageningen, the Netherlands; 2ADAS, United Kingdom; 3Department of Environmental Systems Science, ETH Zürich, Switzerland; 4Department of Crop Sciences, University of Goettingen, Germany; 5Department of Animal Nutrition and Forage Production, Mendel University, Czech Republic; 6Faculty of Agriculture and Biology, Warsaw University of Life Sciences, Poland; 7Department of Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden; 8Department of Forestry, ETSIAM, University of Córdoba, Spain; 9Department of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences, University of Turin, Italy; 10Institute of Ecology and Botany, MTA Centre for Ecological Research, Hungary; 11Agrisearch, Northern Ireland; 12Department of Livestock Science, University of Montenegro, Montenegro; 13Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
Permanent grassland (PG) covers around 60 Mha in the EU-28. Across Europe, PG exists in many
contrasting managed or unmanaged environments where it contributes to feed supply, biodiversity, carbon sequestration, aesthetic value, recreation, clean water and prevention of soil loss. The delivery of these PG ecosystem services is under threat by land use change, climate change, and sub-optimal management. We carried out a survey among agronomists, ecologists, soil scientists, foresters and agri-environmental consultants to assess the threats for PG within their countries. Respondents described the main PG types and their areas, and assessed to what extent a particular PG type is threatened by intensification, land use change, climate change or nitrogen deposition. Threats were scored on a three-point scale: no, small or great. Replies were received from 34 experts in 11 countries (CH, CZ, DE, ES, HU, IT, ME, NL, PL, SE, UK). The dataset contained 83 PG types on a total area of 25 Mha. Abandonment, heat and drought stress, and conversion to temporary grassland were considered as the largest threats, concerning PG types covering 8 to 9 Mha. The second group of great threats comprised N deposition, conversion to arable land and intensification, causing a great threat on PG types covering 4 to 5 Mha.
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